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and God had made his grace LIVE AGAIN in their hearts, with augmented energy. The Synod appear to have entertained similar views of a revival; but they call upon their churches to rejoice in all that the Redeemer performs by the Spirit, whether he calls men into the church in great numbers at a time, or makes gradual, but continued accessions. The Synod desire the churches to bless God for all his gracious operations, whether they be properly or improperly called revivals; whether they are manifested in places that have previously experienced them, or among those tribes of men who have never before been visited by the Sanctifier. The Synod thought, and justly too, that there are revivals which are little considered by many, that as truly deserve the name as those which are published abroad with too much confident boasting. We will give an instance or two, by way of explanation. In the space of nearly two years, about two hundred communicants may have been added to the church under the care of the Rev. James Patterson, of the Northern Liberties; the greater part of these were added at two communion seasons; and blessed be God, it is a revival. It is published too, from one end of the union to the other. Now in nearly two years, about two hundred communicants have been joined to the Third Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia; and blessed be God, it is a revival too; but it makes no noise in the public papers, and many good ministers think it no revival at all: whereas they ought, says the Synod, to be as grateful to the Holy Ghost, for this last revival as the first, even while it is true that forty have not been added to the church at any one communion season. In like manner, a considerable number are joined to the Brick Church, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Spring, and "a revival! a revival!” is echoed from Georgia to Maine. Within a given time, say of two years, as many communicants, to say the least, are gathered into the church under the care of Dr. Romeyn; and as many more to the church over which the Rev. Mr. M'Clelland presides; but because these last churches are not enlarged very greatly at any one communion season, nothing is said about a revival of religion, and very few, out of the bounds of those congregations, thank God for it.
The Synod were aware of the propensity of most men to resound the praises of some unusual work of the Lord, while they wholly overlook his more gradual, but upon the whole, more extensive visitations of grace. Do they therefore, speak disrespectfully of revivals? God forbid! They laud all genuine revivals, and lament that many, who are ready to censure the Synod, should appear to be incapable of discerning some of them, because they come not with much observation. No candid man, of good apprehension, who is a judge of the English lan. guage, can make out any insinuation against revivals from the letter, without doing violence to it. The writer of that instrument declares, that the sentiments which have now been expressed, induced him to use the phra. seology which was adopted on this subject by the Synod.
But do not the members of the General Assembly understand this language otherwise? Let that body speak for itself. We cannot find in the printed “Ex. tracts from the Minutes,” any thing on this subject; and we have introduced them to notice in this article, principally for the purpose of saying, that they ought to be full and complete on all doctrinal subjects which come before the Assembly. It would be well for the churches if the minutes were published, as they are found on record, without any omission; but if we must have extracts, leave out long lists of contributions, como mittees, and missionaries; yes, and leave out the list of members present, the publication of wbich can do little good, but excites vanity and ambition; rather than omit the publication of decisions on matters of faith and discipline. We attribute no blame to the committee for selecting extracts, for they followed the fashion, and designed to execute the will of their constituents: but if the Assembly would order the publication of all their proceedings, they would, in a short time, be much more dignified, than they sometimes have been; and the churches would be better satisfied with this high judicatory.
Our readers may be assured of the accuracy of the following documents, which are contained in the records of the General Assembly, although not found in the printed extracts for the last year.
In the General Assembly, May 24th, 1817, concerning the Records of the Synod of Philadelphia, it was,
“ Resolved, that the said Records be approved to page 499, excepting certain parts of a Pastoral Letter, commencing in page 494, and a Resolution in page 493, which enjoins on the several presbyteries belonging to the Synod, to call to an account all such ministers as may be supposed to embrace any of the opinions usually called Hopkinsian.-On these parts of the Records, the Assembly would remark, that while they commend the zeal of the Synod, in endeavouring to promote a strict conformity to our public standards, a conformity which cannot but be viewed as of vital importance to the purity and prosperity of the church; the Assembly regret that Zeal on this subject should be manifested in such a manner as to be offensive to other denominations of Christians; and especially to introduce a spirit of jealousy and suspicion against ministers in good standing, which is calculated to disturb the peace and harmony of our ecclesiastical judicatories. And whereas a passage in the Pastoral Letter above referred to, appears capable of being construed as expressing an opinion unfavourable to revivals of religion, the Assembly would only observe, that they cannot believe that that venerable Synod could have intended to express such an opinion.”
In opposition to the foregoing resolution of the General Assembly the following protests were constitutionally entered; which will serve as the best commentary on the laudatory remark and observation, of that venerable body.
FIRST PROTEST. “ The subscribers feel themselves aggrieved by the resolution of the General Assembly, adopted on the 24th instant, relative to a resolution and Pastoral Letter entered on the 493d and 494th pages of the synodical records, and therefore claim as a right, that the following protest be entered on the minutes of the General Assembly. 1. We protest against the resolution of the Assembly, because it highly commends, and at the same time expresses regret at the zeal of the Synod for maintaining purity of doctrine within their bounds: VOL.I.
which inconsistency of conduct we think derogatory to the honour of the Assembly, and injurious to the cause of the Redeemer.-2. We protest against the resolution, because it would disparage our zeal for the truth, from the circumstance that it is displayed in a manner offensive to other denominations of Christians, than our own; which we think an unworthy consideration, unless those other denominations are sound in the faith, and free from the crime of taking offence at the gospel of Christ.3. We protest against the Assembly's resolution, because it unjustly imputes to our synodical resolution and letter a tendency to introduce a spirit of jealousy and suspicion against ministers in good standing, which we deny to be their tendency, unless those ministers are in good standing, whose orthodoxy is publicly called in question. -4. We protest against the said resolution of the Assembly, because it imputes to our synodical proceedings, a tendency to disturb the peace and harmony of our ecclesiastical judicatories, whereas, in fact, the tendency of the same is to prevent the introduction of controversy, contention, and heresy into any of the presbyteries under the care of the Synod. 5. We protest against the said resolution, because in pleading a needless apology, for our expressions concerning revivals of religion, it insinuates the very insinuation which it pretends to counteract, that the Synod is opposed to revivals of religion: whereas the Synod has affectionately called upon the churches within their bounds to acknowledge, not less the saving influences of the Holy Ghost which are frequent and gradual, than those which are uncommon.-6. We protest against the said resolution of the Assembly, because it was due to Christian candour, and the dignity of the supreme judicatory of our church, when acting in the name,
and fessedly by the authority of Christ, that the synodical resolution and Pastoral Letter should either have been approved or disapproved in an unambiguous manner.—7. We protest against the resolution of the General Assembly, because we do not believe that the doctrines called Hopkinsian are innocent; or that they are so trivial as not to require the interference of the Synod, in the manner employed in their records to prevent their propagation. And because we believe that when the enemy cometh in like a flood, the supreme judicatory of the church ought to lift up a standard against him.-8. Finally, we protest against the resolution of the General Assembly, because it apparently contradicts the decisions of the Assembly, which condemned the Hopkinsian errors of the Rev. Messrs. Davis and Balch, as will fully appear from the minutes of the General Assembly."
proSigned by, the Rev. Samuel Martin, the Rev. Francis A. Latta, the Rev. Thomas Hood, the Rev. fohn Hutchinson, the Rev. Thomas Holiday, the Rev. William A. Boyd; and Mr. Robert M.Cay, an elder.
“We do solemnly protest against the said resolution for the reasons following: viz. 1. Because the said resolution is couched in terms so ambiguous that it is susceptible of receiving various constructions: and of being appealed to as authority, in support of very different opinions—thus, some suppose that the General Assembly have, in passing said resolution, supported in the main the principles of the Synod, and censured only the mode of expression adopted in the Pastoral Letter, and the resolution under review. Others suppose the General Assembly have in fact, declared the errors, delusion and heresy of the Hopkinsian system to be consonant with the public standards of the Presbyterian church.-2. Because, after excepting to certain parts of the Pastoral Letter, which speak of errors, delusions and heresies, the said resolution takes exception to, and so far censures, a resolution of the Synod which speaks of the errors of that system commonly called Hopkinsian, as if the Synod designed to guard their churches against merely opinions held by Hopkinsians, even though held in common with the Synod.-3. Because the said resolution APPEARS to assume the fact, that the distin. guishing doctrines of the Hopkinsian system are either consonant with our public standards, or are of so trivial a nature that their departure from strict conformity ought not to be regarded as matters of conscience; whereas we suppose them to be essentially contrary to sound, orthodox doctrines, and consequently the preaching of them to be a violation of ordination vows.-4. Because the Synod possessing the power, according to our form of government, to make such regulations for the benefit of the whole body, and of the Presbyteries and Churches under their care, as shall be agreeable to the word of God and not contradictory to the decisions of the General Assembly,' have been censured by the passage of the said resolution for exercising that power, in taking measures to promote the common advantage of those committed to their care, in perfect consonance with the word of God, and with the decisions of the General Assembly, as recorded in volume I. page 175 and 176, in regard to the errors of the Rev. Hezekiah Balch.-5. Because in expressing the regret of the Assembly that zeal on the subject under consideration, has been manifested in such a manner as to be offensive to other